By Katherine Jass Lopez
|Matt Di Filippo, left, and Dan Dúet, right, visit with Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Flores and retired Auxiliary Bishop Bernard Popp at the posadas held Dec. 18.
Katherine Jass Lopez | Today's Catholic
For Today’s Catholic
In the spirit of the holiday season, the Office of Young Adult/Catholic Campus Ministry of the Archdiocese of San Antonio sponsored “Las Posadas” at Padua Place, a home for retired priests, on Dec. 18.
“Our ministry has been doing this for the past three years and it brings us great joy to spend time with our retired priests who have done so much for so many of us during their years of service,” said Joseph Liedecke, assistant coordinator of archdiocesan Young Adult/Catholic Campus Ministry.
Prior to beginning the posada, Martín de Jesús Martinez, who works with Hispanic Ministry Programs at the Mexican American Catholic College, shared the history of this tradition. The word “posada” means lodging and “Las Posadas” are a Christmas novena which reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s anxious search for a place to spend the night in Bethlehem.
In 1578, an Augustine friar, Friar Diego of Doria, introduced this novena in Mexico to teach a Christian devotion which honored Christ’s birth. This tradition is both religious and cultural and it continues to be celebrated in Mexico and the United States.
In true tradition, the posada was led by husband and wife Marcus and Dianne Guevara, who are expecting their first child in the new year. “It was such a privilege to portray Mary during this posada and to be here with the priests who have served for so many years. It made me feel grateful for the blessings I have and the anticipation for the birth of my own child,” Dianne Guevara said.
The evening was filled with beautiful music provided by Martinez, Arturo and Maria Maldonado, Dan Dúet and Matt Di Filippo. “It was wonderful to be able to participate in Las Posadas and visit with Archbishop (Patrick) Flores and (retired Auxiliary) Bishop (Bernard) Popp. I had a great time and plan to participate again next year,” Dúet said.
After the posada, food and refreshments were shared and Christmas carols were sung with the priests. “It is very good for them to see the young people here and to spend time with them in such a fun and special way. We are very happy to have the group here and invite others to come and visit anytime,” said Sister Mary Ann Domagalski, MSSA, with Padua Place.
It was evident by smiles that the evening was special and appreciated. “I have participated in posadas for many years and it was wonderful to have one here tonight,” said Father Willy Verboomen, CICM.
“I want to thank very much everyone who came out to be with us tonight. We all enjoyed the singing and the fellowship; it was very touching,” said Bishop Popp.